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Idea to help fix dwarves

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  • Hmmm... personally I'm behind a bonus to unit strength, it is fluffed really well for Dwarves but I agree it would be difficult to fit in the current system.


    • I'm beginning to think that we don't need any boosts, and that Alessio and the RC got things pretty right. I know it's heresy to say that in this thread, but here's my thinking (please bear with me)

      In Warhammer, my success with Dwarves over 150 games was just over 50%; I won slightly more than I lost. I'm a good player, but not a great one, and it was bloody hard trying to match Skaven, Warriors of Chaos, Dark Elves etc with Warhammer Dwarves. GW just wasn't interested in making a competitive book that fit within the meta, and they didn't.

      In Kings of War, I'm averaging around 65% wins after 37 games. I'm not trying to brag about how awesome I am, but I'm finding that Dwarves are much more competitive in KOW than they ever were in Warhammer. My lists are predominantly combat, with some light shooting (normally 2 regiments of Rangers, maybe a troop of Sharpshooters). I don't take much chaff, because the Dwarf list doesn't really have any. I take one regiment of Brock Riders and a Brock Lord (with Beastslayer of course, never, ever leave home without him). I have taken a Greater Elemental and a Horde of Elementals, but I recently dropped them for an Ironclad Horde, the Sharpshooters and a Regt of Shieldbreakers (for greater Unit Strength).

      So I generally play with a very slow (Sp 4 or 5) army, with only a little bit of shooting. I should be getting smashed, but with only two exceptions, I feel that I am in the game right up until the last turn (I've lost two games due to bad deployment, my fault, not the army's). Even when I lose, I normally feel like I had a good chance.

      I think I've done better than I'd expect because;

      1. The scenarios force our opponents to commit to us. Invade, Dominate and Control mean that our opponents can't just sit back and pew-pew, they have to mix it up with us. Even Loot and Pillage require them to get up close and personal if they want the markers. When you have a slow combat army, this is gold.

      2. I expect to get charged. This sucks, but my thing is to try to control this as much as possible with terrain (for hindered charges), De 6+ units or the Ironclad Horde with Phalanx, careful positioning to prevent combo-charges and finally, Mr Flying Dwarf King, to take TC from attacking units or to block them. For me, the key moment of the game is when the enemy charge, and it's doing all you can to disrupt that alpha strike.

      3. Dealing with flyers. This is where the Brock Lord, helped by the 2 Battle Drillers (awesome things) and sometimes the Flying King come into play. They cover most of the rear quite nicely, and if you focus on one thing at a time, you can generally ground it, and even kill it fairly quickly. The change to Fly (no fly move if Disordered) is gold for us, no more Dragons/greater Demons flying out of combat.

      4. Winning the grind. Once we're charged, I generally find that we win the grind. The Battle Drillers go a long way to achieving this, but adding critical damage and their Brutal modifier to the Ironguard and Ironclad units in the frontline. I also like the Healing Charm. I do have troubles with Empire of Dust, who are also very grindy (I hate De6 Behomeths.....!)

      I haven't had to play with the extreme lists that Montegue pointed out (triple Dragonlords, much sadness), so I don't have all the answers. All I'm trying to say is that my personal experience is that we have the tools to win games, and win them well. Some chaff warhounds would be fantastic, and I'd love to be able to use the 5 Gyrocopters I have from my Warhammer days, but if we never get these, I think we'll still be OK.


      • How many large events have you placed top 5 in?

        I'm not asking as an ego comparison, I"m asking because your assertion that we don't need any help needs to be supported with some data from large competitive play events.

        Your personal experience is limited in a way that, in my opinion, has given you a false sense of the army's potential. In a big event, with lots of armies and people who have access to all the tools we do not, we really struggle to place.

        The question isn't "can we win games". Of course we can. The question is "do we have the tools necessary to win games enough to win a large competitive event". The answer to that is still hanging in the wind. At the Masters both in the UK and the US top notch players took dwarfs and none of them did top 10 for battle points, to the best of my knowledge. That's a problem.


        • I'm in New Zealand, so we don't have large events; the most I've played in had around 20 players. We have frequent tournaments, but they're normally 10-20 players. So while I've played a few games, my sample size is small. The small pool also means that we don't have as much innovation perhaps as other gaming scenes.

          So I freely admit that my experience is not the be-all and end-all. My point is that I think our army list is better than you might give it credit for. The lack of speed is less of a concern than it was in Warhammer, as the scenarios force our opponents to commit to us. Our infantry and elementals are fairly resilient, and with proper use of terrain (we use 8-9 pieces per table), you can normally break up the alpha-strike charge.

          The failure to do well in big tournaments is a concern. I do hope the RC sees some way to reel in the top armies and bring the bottom-dwellers up a bit. I would also like to see infantry become stronger (which disproportionately benefits us). I would also like some chaff units, like mastiffs, to really help absorb the alpha-strike. But I think we do OK, and that's where every army should be.


          • Montegue, OK, I went and reread your Masters post, and just to be clear, I agree that there are some things that need to be sorted;

            1. Slow and limited options is a stale, boring and limited take on Dwarf armies, I agree. Personally I'd prefer to see us get Nimble, to reflect better drill and unit movement, but that's probably a bridge too far for the RC. At least Spe 5.

            2. Dwarf infantry (all infantry?) needs a buff. I'd settle for slightly higher Nerve.

            My point is that I don't think we are a 'bottom tier' army, if such a term is relevant any more. Top line armies likely need a nerf, and the RC has shown willingness to do that (e.g. Pharoah is now De5).


            • I actually don't think nerfing"top tier" armies is the right way to go. I've made the point before, so I won't dwell, but what the Dwarfs lack is the means to take initiative. The onfield tactics available to Dwarfs are limited. The options to exploit your opponents weaknesses/mistakes are limited. You can make the options they do have stronger, or nerf the options other armies have, but you won't really solve the issue. It just risks making Dwarfs point and click, or other armies boring to play.

              IMO, the goal isn't just to make Dwarfs a viable Masters choice. If that were the case, then a few powerful options would do the trick. It's to increase the options available to a good player. That's why I'm generally more in favour of solutions which add variety to the list, over those that boost power levels. Especially static power. Power that doesn't require you to do much to use it effectively.


              • I'm in the same boat. I have said for a very long time, both in this game and in the 9th Age, that unit diversity is the largest problem, and would make the army perfectly viable to play in all environments.


                • As someone who thinks about playing dwarves but does not play them in competitive events, I can say that the army is not weak; it just does not have some of the tools to make it a top tier and consistently competitive army in certain battles. Because of the KoW structure, speed and getting the first charge both matter a lot. The only way for dwarves to compensate is to have some combinations of: much better shooting (which they did not generally get as much as abyssal dwarves which have heavy mortars, decimators, and individual rule breath weapons all being clearly points efficient units; except for the flame belcher and maybe organ gun); some faster chaff or unique chaff (vanguard or advanced deployment, rangers and ranger captain are a bit too expensive to be considered chaff or would need a stouter unit version to post out a position hold a charge); a mix of faster units (received brock riders or heroes on brocks or with flying); or some unique movement concepts (such as miners) or to have greater resiliency (greater nerve or toughness for the points). KoW did give some of the tools in brock riders and rangers and really made them more competitive in a melee build than WHFB allowed for in a long time (even with 8th edition rules allowing units to step up and hit back was a huge improvement over 7th edition when dwarves often did not stand a chance).

                  Based on Dan King's reply on a Mantic Forum, I think you might see some sort of Mastiff/dog packs and heavy cav (bear riders?). That may give the army the chaff/cheaper and faster troop option it needs as well as a heavier, more mobile follow-up unit to brock riders in terms of mobility. Giving some of the units with sp4 nimble in return for slower speed would be very interesting but might require a point cost change (giving hordes nimble might making units slightly over-costed for their characteristics modestly undercosted given the value of nimble). The ability of nimble to allow slower units to get flanks and combo charges that non-nimble units cannot get was exploited with soul reaver cav by the winner of Masters battle, as Montegue might know.

                  I'd rather see incremental tweaks to specific armies not quite as competitive as the top tier armies to avoid the inevitable leap-frogging power creep that can occur if one is not careful.
                  Last edited by Lurcker2; 24-03-2017, 03:19 PM.